Flooding puts a damper on Festival proceedings

Festival Diary by Brett Adkins

WET, wet, wet. No, not an impromptu appearance by the 80s Scottish pop outfit at the National Arts Festival, just the general condition of Grahamstown yesterday when, for the very first time, the Village Green Fair had to be shut down for the entire day because of flooding.

I went down there to get a pic – slippin’ and slidin’ my way through the mud on foot and trying not to get knocked down by Gauteng drivers who somehow don’t quite get the Grahamstown four-way stop system. Don’t know why – it’s much the same as any other four-way stop system only here, when you’ve only got about three sets of traffic lights in town, your four-way stops are much faster affairs because the locals are so used to them. Visitors look terrified that Grahamstonians make such short work of them.

Anyway, the sportsfields on which the Village Green is set up, were waterlogged good and proper and not even sawdust (the usual antidote) would have had any mopping up effect whatsoever.

But, hey – rain and cold, that’s what a festival makes. I know, I’m sounding a little obsessed with the weather but it really is interesting – you never know what’s going to happen next. Much like the power supply. Off for two and a half hours yesterday – but the festinos always make a plan.

Musos sang in the dark and gave a cool acoustic show while Clem Sunter also carried on with his talk at Think!fest – they just opened the doors so at least you could see it was really him.

All of this adds to the festival embroidery – it’s fantastic.

All right, on to today and on the Main programme (power permitting) we have fresh new dance shows Rajasthan at the Great Hall at 5pm and Madam Silk at the Guy Butler Theatre at 7pm.

On the theatre scene, there’s a last chance to see the terrific Benchmarks at Graeme College at 4pm and 8pm and also the final performances of The History Boys at Victoria Theatre at midday and 4pm. I saw this yesterday and it is one really enjoyable ride with some great turns by a stellar cast – you can see the review in The Herald today.

Music wise there’s The Diamond Ensemble at Rhodes Chapel at 7pm and some outstanding jazz at the DSG Hall: the Bokani Dyer Trio at 5pm, Selaelo Selota at 7.30pm and Brian Thusi at 10pm.

The East Cape Showcase also features Two Women, Two Worlds at The Hangar at 11am and 6.30pm. I’m seeing that this morning so catch the review on Thursday.

And on the Arena and Fringe programmes…



Music: Nibs van der Spuy (Cuervo Music Room at 5pm and 9pm)

Dance: The Public Oscillation (PJ’s at 2pm and 9pm); Lime Light on Rites (Commemoration Church Hall at 8pm)

Theatre: The Butcher Brothers (The Hangar at 9.30pm); …miskien (Princess Alice Hall at 6pm); Shooting (B2 Arena at 3pm)

Physical Theatre: Inua (The Hangar at 2.30pm)



Drama: Money Maker (NG Kerk Hall at 9.30pm); Skyn (Masonic Front at 2pm and 10pm)

Family Theatre: The Ogreling (Princess Alice at 10am);Isangqa/Sirkelpad (Princess Alice at 4pm)

Comedy: Africa Clockwise (Bowling Club at 2pm); Butlers and Blackmail (Highlander at midday); Rob van Vuuren Live (St Andrew’s Hall at 10am)

Music Theatre: The Castaway (Kingswood at 2pm)

Music: Bababoom! (Rhodes Chapel at 1pm); Meri Kenaz Solo (Graham Hotel at 2pm); More Great Goosebump A Cappella! (Rhodes Chapel at 11am)

Indigenous Dance: Siyavuma Makhosi Traditional Dance (Recreation Centre at 4pm)

Contemporary Dance: The Language We Cry In (Centenary Hall at 4pm)

Physical Theatre: Mafeking Road (Princss Alice at midday)

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